National Convention 2003
The 24th National Mustang Convention was hosted by the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club in Christchurch on 24-27th Oct 2003. 113 cars and over 200 people registered, making it the largest South Island convention ever. Of particular note for this convention was the very welcome formal inclusion of the two newest clubs: Bay of Plenty Mustang Club based in Tauranga, who attended with 5 cars, and the Southern Mustang Club based in Invercargill, who brought 26 cars.
The convention was headquartered at the Garden Hotel in Shirley, with others booked into motels nearby. Cars began arriving all during the week with a big influx on Thursday.
Stories of speeding tickets, mechanical dramas and other problems abounded. At least three people got tickets between Picton and Christchurch, Noel and Rose King had a wheel bearing collapse in their Mach 1 at Foxton, and then had alternator and sick running engine problems. Wal Marshall's Boss 429 boiled the battery nearly dry due to a faulty voltage regulator, and refused to idle under 1500 rpm. It got a new battery, and a new voltage regulator - thank you Bart for carrying a spare one!. Several cars struck idling problems and, as no obvious cause could be found, poor fuel quality was suspected.
Ross Cheer and Bev Brooke found the newly rebuilt auto in their 65 hardtop would not upshift out of second, so were forced to drive all the way from Dannevirke to convention in 2nd gear! Colin and Merlyn Bates and Kevin and Margaret Mold of Waikato Club, had their cars backed into by a semi trailer truck unit at Turangi. Miraculously only the bumpers on both cars were damaged. The Mold's Mach 1 was another that stopped idling on the way down.
For those that arrived on Thursday or earlier, long hours were spent cleaning (and in some cases repairing) cars ready for the show. Three cars went out to Hornby for dyno tuning on Friday morning to try to cure various problems.
By late afternoon on Friday most cars were ready for the show, and there was time to grab some tea and head off to registration for a beer and a catch up chat session with lots of old friends.
(Any other pics from Friday or registration?)
Saturday Car Show
Sure enough it rained overnight but the morning was clear and fine. After the usual towelling off, the cars headed out progressively from 6.30 am to the Canterbury Convention centre across the road from the Town Hall in the centre of Christchurch. By 10 am, 103 cars were positioned and detailed ready for the show opening at 10 am.
Saturday Evening : Social Evening(+ Rugby!)
After the show closed at 5 pm, the cars came storming back to
the Garden Hotel and other the nearby Motels. The evening was a free one but at
the Garden Hotel there was a band playing and keen supper later for those who
came to check it out.
Sunday Cruise out to Akaroa
Sunday morning and everyone was keen to get rolling on the cruise to Akaroa. The weather was fine (if a mite chilly at times). The route was most pleasant and took the cars across Christchurch, through the Lyttelton road tunnel, around the harbour through Governor's Bay, over Gebbies Pass and across the hills to Akaroa.
Most (who had not been there before) were quite surprised about who how far it was, but once there were charmed by the quant French town. The cars were parked up on the local school playing field, once everyone had negotiated the narrow entranceway.
Next was a Canterbury version of the push and grunt race. Four spark plugs were run across the field by ladies from each club, then their men folk had to install them into a cylinder head. The race was won by the Auckland Club, with the fastest women and the quickest screwers...ahem.
After the racing, hungry tums were filled in the form of a very filling boxed lunch, and the rest of the afternoon was free to explore the lovely shops, cafes, quaint back streets and French colonial architecture that Akaroa is famous for.
Sunday Evening Prize Giving, Dinner and Dance
Sunday evening was of course the prize giving and dinner/dance. The event theme was "The letter C", and some imaginative costumes appeared! Cowboys, Call girls, Cat girls, Caveman, Chefs, and many Cops and Convicts etc etc.
The first event of the evening was an excellent buffet dinner which ensured everyone ate too much and arrived at the prize giving part of the evening with no prospect of any hunger pangs for many hours.
The overall prize giving results for each club are set out below. Individual results can be found here
(Canterbury....didn't they do well!)
After the excellent buffet dinner and prize giving were completed, a live band played popular music till well into the night ...
Monday Morning Breakfast and Farewells
After a relaxing lie-in Monday morning more than a few red eyes emerged to pack up the cars. At 8.30 am a meeting of the Presidents from the seven clubs was held. ( The minutes of this meeting can be found here Wal). The meeting was followed at 9 am by a yummy cooked breakfast, where everyone had a chance to say their farewells till next year.
(In answer to questions from dozens who asked me what the fuel consumption was on the Boss 429 for the trip, I can now advise that it was 13.8mpg overall. (Imperial Gallons). This includes two periods of appalling running with a flooded carb. It suggests I can expect to get about 15-16 mpg in 100kph cruise. Wal)
Reminder....next year's 2004 convention,